This is my favorite book in the Discworld series. Although it is the 13th in the series, one need not have read the others to enjoy it, and it is not directly related to any of the other Discworld storylines.
Brutha, a devout monk of the Great God Om, meets his god in person, but the god is trapped in the body of a tortoise. He proceeds to quote scripture to Om, who denies most of what scripture says he said or did. Topics spoofed include ancient religions and the Spanish Inquisition. Small Gods is an absolute riot.
From the inside flap: "One of the most popular authors in the UK today. Smalls Gods is the thirteenth novel in his phenomenally successful Discworld series."
"Small Gods" is Terry Pratchett's rather humorous and insightful take on the relationship among gods, religion, and their worshipers.
Set on his fantastical Discworld, "Small Gods" tells the story of the Great God Om, whose church-state has become so powerful that it is the fear of a dozen other nations along the coast, and the terror of the people who live under its iron rule.
Om, who previously has appeared as a raging people trampling the infidels, has just incarnated and found himself as a creature no more terrifying than a turtle, and with only one believer. The difficulty, Om discovers, is that as the Church of Om has grown, people are paying more attention to their priests and church authorities than they are to him. And of course, the flip side of this is that Om never paid any attention to what his previous prophets told people about him or in his name. He had no idea they were murderous and violent people; he just wanted to be worshiped.
Things change as the god grows in understanding, as his lone worshiper ascends into the role of prophet, and the leaders of his church-state come to face payback from the other nations for all that they have done in Om's name.
Pratchett's a humanist, as becomes obvious to anyone reading his critique of gods and religion; but he's also a gifted humorist, as anyone familiar with any of his Discworld novels will know. Like his other Discworld novels, "Small Gods" is a book that satisfies at many levels, and always leaves the toughtful reader with something to consider, even after the fifth or sixth reading.
Disc is a land where the unexpected always happens, usually to the nicest people like Brutha, who is suddenly chosen by his god to stop holy wars, search for peace and brotherly love. Why was he chosen? When can he get back to his simple life?
The Great God Om gets religion! Classic Discworld hilarity, with some sharp commentary on fundamentalism and compassion.
You just can't go wrong with any of the Discworld series or anything by Pratchett for that matter!
I really enjoy Terry Pratchett's books. This one was just as good as all his others. The way he uses satire causes me to not only laugh but also to stop and think about how we really are in this world.